Kristen Renton chats about Sons of Anarchy, her charity work, and so much more. Kristen spent several seasons playing one of the most despised characters on Sons of Anarchy, Ima.
Elizabeth: What were your feelings about Sons of Anarchy ending?
Kristen Renton: Mixed emotions. We all knew there were only going to be 7 seasons, yet it went by so quickly. When you are on a show for that long, you become family–a crazy, dysfunctional, wacky family. It will be sad to not see everyone regularly anymore, yet I am very excited about what the future holds. Filming SOA was a fantastic moment in time, but all good things must come to an end.
Elizabeth: Do you have any charities you are passionate about?
Kristen Renton: All the charities I am involved with I am passionate about–whether it is working with children at Children Hospital LA, or animals at Boxer Rescue LA, I put my heart and soul into every philanthropic adventure I encounter.
Elizabeth: If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 things would you want with you?
Kristen Renton: Floss, some sort of shelter, a long spear, hair ties, and water.
Elizabeth: Do you have any official sites?
Kristen Renton: Working on it as we speak!
Elizabeth: Have you had any strange encounters with fans?
Kristen Renton: Too many to count! For the most part, everyone I have met has been amazingly sweet and supportive, however, there is always one or two that are left of center.
Elizabeth: What is your one wish in life?
Kristen Renton: To truly make a difference in the world.
Elizabeth: How many tattoos do you have and what ones hurt the most?
Kristen Renton: I have around 24. My finger hurt the most.
Elizabeth: Do you have any fan social media accounts you are associated with?
Kristen Renton: Yes! I have a Facebook, an Instagram, as well as a twitter.
Elizabeth: How many animals do you have?
Kristen Renton: Presently, I have my dog Roxy. My cat, Minnie, passed away this past May. I miss her terribly. I was fostering a cat I called Miss P, she has since gone to a home. I will continue to foster animals as long as I am able.
Elizabeth: How did you get involved with the animal charities?
Kristen Renton: Since I was a little girl, I have loved animals. As I got older, I was educated on many of the terrible issues animals face. I decided I would stand up and be their voice. Every day, I hope and pray I am being loud enough to make a difference.
Elizabeth: What do you have coming up?
Kristen Renton: I have a movie coming out called Battle Scars, as well as waiting to see if my pilot gets picked up. I am in talks to shoot another music video. I will always keep updating the fans on my future projects through social media.
Elizabeth: How did you feel getting the bad girl part on Sons of Anarchy?
Kristen Renton: I was beyond excited. Loved every second of it. Ima’s attitude, character, and mentality is so far removed from my reality, I knew it was going to be a blast to play. It is always more fun to play the bad girl.
Elizabeth: Do you have any other appearances on the east or west coast?
Kristen Renton: 2015 will be a fun year with lots of appearances. I will keep everyone updated about future appearances via social media.
Elizabeth: Who is your hero?
Kristen Renton: That is a very loaded question. I don’t have just one. My entire family is my “hero,” each for different reasons.
Elizabeth: What made you decide to go into acting?
Kristen Renton: I didn’t chose acting; it found me. And if it wasn’t for my parents love and support, I would absolutely not be where I am today.
Elizabeth: Are you noticed when you are out or can you go places without being attacked by the paparazzi?
Kristen Renton: Sometimes, I am recognized by fans. For the most part I get, “Didn’t we go to high school together?” Or “You look familiar…do you know my cousin?” It;s quite funny! Thankfully, I am able to go about my life without being hassled. I am lucky to be able to do what I love and still have a “normal” life.
Elizabeth: Where has been the one place you have traveled to and absolutely loved?
Kristen Renton: I absolutely LOVE to travel, so it is too difficult for me to chose just one. Astoria, Oregon is stunningly beautiful. Prince Albert, Saskatchewan is breathtaking, and there are parts of Europe that make your heart stop. I can not wait to continue my world travels.
Elizabeth: What is something about you people would be surprised to know?
Kristen Renton: I am nothing at all like the characters I play on TV….
Elizabeth: What’s your favorite food?
Kristen Renton: I suffer from Celiac disease, so food is not a fun topic for me. I do love watermelon, quinoa, as well as cheese… obsessed with wine and cheese.
Elizabeth: What’s your exercise routine?
Kristen Renton: My exercise routine changes daily. I love lifting and feeling strong. I also love hiking and being outdoors. You have to find a happy balance of enjoying yourself and getting the necessary workouts in. Boxing is also a fantastic way to relieve stress and get in a fantastic full body workout.
Elizabeth: What is it like being on any set and filming as an actor?
Kristen Renton: It is a beautiful mess of fairytale, hard work, and terror.
Elizabeth: Your character on Sons of Anarchy was one the fans loved to hate. Did you ever get any backlash from them for Ima?
Kristen Renton: Haha, Ima was definitely the character everyone loved to hate, and rightfully so. She was a horrible human but so much fun to play. There were some fans who definitely expressed their hate for me because of Ima, but to me, that is the greatest form of flattery. If I pissed you off that much, it means I am a good actress.
Elizabeth: How was it to film a movie with Della Reese?
Kristen Renton: Sadly, I didn’t get to film with her. However, we all know she is a fantastic actress, and I am honored to have shared a set with her.
Elizabeth: We saw you met Betty White. How was that experience?
Kristen Renton: Life changing. I have followed her career ever since I was young, and she was one of the few people I truly dreamed of meeting one day. I am beyond blessed to have been given the chance.
Elizabeth: Do you ever get star struck?
Kristen Renton: I did when I met Betty White, for sure. I have worked with, or been around, countless stars, and have never truly been “star struck.” Betty is such a legend; it was like meeting a God.
Elizabeth: Did you get to take anything from Ima’s wardrobe or the set?
Kristen Renton: Unfortunately, NO…. but its ok because nothing of Ima’s wardrobe would I ever wear in real life.
Elizabeth: What’s your favorite holiday?
Kristen Renton: I would say Halloween and Christmas.
Elizabeth: What show would you love to be on?
Kristen Renton: Too many to name. I’m obsessed with Orange is the New Black. I would have loved to have been on The Killing and who wouldn’t have wanted to be part of The Goonies?
Elizabeth: You have such an amazing wardrobe. Any place you shop that we could get some of your styles at?
Kristen Renton: Thank you! I actually hate to shop, so when I do, I usually try to find comfortable, classic pieces that I will be able to wear for years to come. I do not go after trendy, I like to stand out and be a little different.
Elizabeth: Where do you get all your spiked shoes/purses etc. from? They are amazing?
Kristen Renton: Thank you! My mother and sister (who both DO love to shop) find them for me and send them to me. And for that I am very grateful!
Elizabeth: Who was your favorite actor as a kid?
Kristen Renton: Honestly, all the ladies of The Golden Girls… absolutely, my favorite show!
Elizabeth: What advice would you give someone who wants to be an actor?
Kristen Renton: Be prepared for a lot of heartbreak, a long struggle. But if acting is truly your passion, don’t give up. Always remember to keep fighting and use every heartbreak, as well as every blessing, as learning tools.
Elizabeth: How was it working with a southern accent on Days of Our Lives?
Kristen Renton: It was fun, difficult at times, but fun–Always exciting and challenging to get out of your comfort zone.
Elizabeth: Do you stay in touch with any of your co-workers from any of your past jobs?
Kristen Renton: Absolutely! Working on sets for extended periods of time, you become family. A crazy, extended, dysfunctional family.
Elizabeth: You take such wonderful photos. Have you ever thought on selling any of them?
Kristen Renton: Thank you! Yes, and when I do, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the charity of the purchasers choice.
Elizabeth: What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
Kristen Renton: I would say my family heirlooms. They are all so beautiful and mean the world to me.
Elizabeth: Do you have a fan mail address?
Kristen Renton: In process of obtaining one.
Elizabeth: How do you get involved in charities?
Kristen Renton: I have been involved in charities my whole life. My parents raised me to know the value of giving back and helping those less fortunate. Working with charities has become my passion. Nothing else gives you a feeling like that.
Elizabeth: How would someone have you appear at an event they are planning or throwing?
Kristen Renton: There are several ways. I have several booking agents that handle those types of requests. I also have an email address BookKristenRenton@gmail.com for other inquiries.
Elizabeth: What are the charities you are involved in?
Kristen Renton: There are too many to list. I work with Boxer Rescue LA, LLS, Children’s Hospital LA, ASPCA, HSUS, Lupus LA, Dream Builders, Delivering Dreams, and ALDF, just to name a few.